The Catholic faith we received on the day of our Baptism is centered on the person of Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of the Father, Lord of all creation, and Redeemer of humanity.
“Oh Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!” These were the last words pronounced by Madame Roland, one of the vital participants of the French Revolution, before she lay her head on the block to be guillotined.
‘Pray for me!’ – these are words often uttered by Francis to the most varied audiences. And the more he says it, the more bewilderment he causes many Catholics, because its not unusual that he says this not only to faithful of the Catholic Church, but also to excommunicated persons, schismatics, muslims, communists, atheists, and others…
When taking a look at Ecclesiastical writings of diverse eras, our attention is called by the frequent affirmations of Pontiffs, Bishops and holy men lamenting the adversities that the Church was passing through in their days.
When we priests prepare young couples for marriage, we know that one of the most important points that is to be made clear is regarding the indissolubility of the marriage bond, which is sealed when they contract matrimony.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we find the intriguing story of an Ethiopian, minister of the Queen of Candace, who had travelled to Jerusalem to adore the true God. However, this high functionary of the court returned to his country full of uncertainties with respect to the Scriptures, which he meditated on without grasping their true meaning.
Ever since the beginning, God established matrimony as an indissoluble alliance and granted it a blessing that was “not forfeited by original sin, nor washed away by the flood.” In elevating matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament, Jesus Christ not only made this union more indissoluble and holy, but also willed that it reflect His own fidelity to the Church.
The figure of the Good Shepherd, ready to confront the wolf so as to protect and save his sheep even at the cost of his own life (Jn 10: 11-12) is an eloquent and very moving image. Created by Our Lord Jesus Christ himself to describe his own sentiments, it also expresses the pastoral zeal that every Bishop should have for the competent fulfillment of his mission, in collaboration with his priests and under the authority of the High Pontiff, “teaching, sanctifying, and governing” (Vatican Council II. Decree Christus Dominus, no. 11).
As everyone knows, the famous saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” insinuates an adaptation to the customs and culture of the places we visit, in order to feel more at ease and be more easily accepted by the inhabitants. This norm is applied, obviously, to those practices that don’t offend good morals, for it’s also true that as good Catholics we should never frequent places where this could occur. Even more, in places where our faith might be put at risk.
Throughout the ages, stories of heroes – whether true or legendary – have thrilled the hearts of the young. As a result of the disinterested courage and idealism characteristic of their age-group, adolescents dream of great undertakings. To such hearts, burning with desire for heroism, the Church has always presented models that would stimulate true valor, perfect audacity, and authentic generosity – in a word, sanctity. Who is not touched by the courageous lives of young people such as Saint Agnes, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, and Saint Maria Goretti?